Abuse survivors say important details missing from report on Catholic Church in Colorado

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DENVER — On Wednesday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released a long-awaited report detailing child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the state.

Some sexual assault survivors met at the Denver Press Club Friday and say important details are missing from the report.

According to the document, 166 children were victimized by 43 Catholic priests in Colorado over the past 70 years.

The report found three priests within the Archdiocese of Denver are responsible for the sexual abuse of 90 children.

Friday afternoon, childhood sexual assault survivor Joelle Casteix told the audience the Catholic Church continues to cover up the abuse by not answering the question: Who knew what and when?

Casteix says those details are missing from the report.

“Most importantly, we don’t know the truth of the cover-up. We don’t know what bishops knew… what and when and exactly how these men were allowed to proliferate and continue to abuse children,” she said.

The director of Wings, a sexual abuse survivor’s group based in Lakewood, also spoke Friday. Jennifer Stith believes the report isn’t a shock but rather reflects the church’s under-reporting of the abuse.

“It was obvious that a lot of the files were missing, had been purged or were secret. So there’s a lot of questions there in terms of what we don’t know pertaining to the report,” Stith said.

The Archdiocese of Denver tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers it has no defense of past church leadership who did not keep or even destroyed documents. However, it says the church fully cooperated in 2019 and any indication it did not would have been noted in the report, which the church says it is not.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have not already reported it can do so through the attorney general’s website.

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